Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Addressing the Effects of Climate Change

Climate change threatens the future we want for ourselves and for generations to come. Rising sea levels along with more powerful and frequent storms like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy put Delaware families and businesses at risk. Our largest industry – agriculture – faces severe conditions that harm crops. We know we can’t afford to see what happens next before we act. So we’re limiting future damage by nourishing beaches, repairing dikes and dams, and modernizing stormwater infrastructure. But we must also address the root causes of climate change and that means reducing carbon pollution from our power plants – the largest source of dirty emissions.

This past week the Environmental Protection Agency announced an effort to cut this pollution by 30 percent nationwide. And their approach encourages states to follow Delaware’s model. By shutting down or cleaning up our dirtiest plants, we achieved faster emissions reductions than any other state. And we’ve joined eight other states in a partnership that has reduced our combined emissions by 40 percent. We’re using cleaner power sources; reducing energy bills through efficiency; and creating opportunities for research, manufacturing, and construction jobs to support a cleaner energy economy.

To highlight Delaware’s success, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited construction of Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center here in Dover. That project is creating hundreds of construction jobs by replacing an old coal plant with a natural gas facility that will produce cleaner and more cost-effective power. We must continue to build on the progress we’ve made, and we’re committed to helping meet EPA’s ambitious goals. By recognizing the environmental, health and economic benefits of using the right approach to combat climate change, we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.